A New York Times bestseller, A Slave in the White House received glowing reviewsthatpraised its narrative and original research. It is the story of Paul Jennings, who was born into slavery on the plantation of James and Dolley Madison in Virginia and moved with the Madison household staff to the White House. Jennings was a self-taught and self-made man who purchased his own freedom and penned the first ever White House memoir. Nearly two centuries later, Montpelier scholar Elizabeth Dowling Taylor uncovered the memoir. In this amazing narrative she reconstructs his lifeand hisunusual portraits of James and Dolley Madison andSenator Daniel Websterin early nineteenth century Washington, as well as the 1812 assault on British troops and Jennings' heroic saving of George Washington's portrait. Fascinating and original, this is an important contribution to American history.
Elizabeth Dowling Taylor received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Over a 22-year career in museum education and historical research, she was director of interpretation at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and director of education at James Madison's Montpelier. Most recently a fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Taylor is now an independent scholar and lecturer. She lives in Barboursville, Virginia.
Annette Gordon-Reed, historian and legal scholar, has a triple appointment at Harvard University, where she is Professor at the Law School, History Department, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In 2009 she won the Pulitzer Prize in history for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.